In times of need, if you look in the right place, you just may see a strange telephone number scrawled in red. If you call this number, you will hear a young man introduce himself as the Yato God.
Yato is a minor deity and a self-proclaimed "Delivery God," who dreams of having millions of worshippers. Without a single shrine dedicated to his name, however, his goals are far from being realized. He spends his days doing odd jobs for five yen apiece, until his weapon partner becomes fed up with her useless master and deserts him.
Just as things seem to be looking grim for the god, his fortune changes when a middle school girl, Hiyori Iki, supposedly saves Yato from a car accident, taking the hit for him. Remarkably, she survives, but the event has caused her soul to become loose and hence able to leave her body. Hiyori demands that Yato return her to normal, but upon learning that he needs a new partner to do so, reluctantly agrees to help him find one. And with Hiyori's help, Yato's luck may finally be turning around.
All of us have seen that one series or show or book that didn't seem to know which direction in which it was going. Noragami, however, manages to pull off all of its elements perfectly without even batting an eye. Keep in mind that this is my first review so anything I’m about to say may be incredibly biased or just inexperienced as a whole. With that said, let’s begin.
The story of Noragami begins with Hiyori: an average high school girl who has a fated encounter with Yato, a homeless god, but we'll get to them later. Hiyori, being the angel of a person
she is, pushes Yato out of the way of an incoming bus when he suddenly runs into traffic. This results in not only an accident and her being taken to the hospital, but from then on she gains the somewhat troublesome habit of losing her physical body and taking on a similar form, but travels around as her soul seperated from her body. Deciding she can't live on like this, she begs Yato and pays him in advance to restore her back to her original form, and thus, the two connect and Hiyori is abruptly introduced to the world outside of our reality.
At least, that's what the show would have you believe from its broad overarching plot.
Noragami consists of several plot lines that all mesh in beautifully with each other both in terms of pacing and execution. It wastes no time in moving the story forward, save some of Yato's comic relief and character introductions here and there. It even has some realistic darker undertones thrown in smoothly. They make sure you understand the weight of loneliness and just how invisible those who are not of the living can be, how painful it is to be forgotten and wanting to be remembered. Having read the majority of the manga so far, the anime followed it quite well, had it not been for the filler arc that took up the remaining 3-4 episodes. But for the most part, I enjoyed the story very much and hope that it will follow the manga if it were to receive a second season, which is HIGHLY FAVORABLE.
The main reason why I love the characters of Noragami is not only how diverse they all are, but it seems to have a Hiromu Arakawa feel to it; no character is used solely for fanservice or comic relief in spite of their first appearance. Every person in this series is well fleshed-out, developed, and not one-dimensional in the slightest, though that's what you may get the impression of in early episodes.
Yato, our main character, is somewhat of an underdog aside from being homeless and having a strange fashion sense. He is definitely the real propeller of the show, providing us with not only mystery, insight, and of course, more comic relief than you can shake a stick at, but just such a fun time watching him in general. There wasn’t a moment I didn’t appreciate his presence on my screen. What’s not to like about a bratty, teenage looking god taking up job requests for only 5 Yen? Much about him is still to be revealed, though they’ve given us enough to go on for right now. His viewpoints on humans and life as a whole is somewhat irritating yet fascinating due to his experience of both and naturally, having lived for thousands of years as a vicious war god who has somehow faded to an insanely silly and docile version of that is still unkown. But to end his profile, Yato is a great character who differs from the typical shonen hero who still has plenty of development to go and is an amazing joy to watch at any given time. And personally, my favorite character of the series, so bias warning there.
Next up is Hiyori. I definitely don’t have as much to say here, as she is a pretty bland character until she meets Yato and gets caught up in the world of gods and evil spirits. Before that she is just the average high school student who goes to school with her friends, has a loving and rich family, and is just normal overall. Her most defining trait is without a doubt, her extreme levels of kindness that most female protagonists seem to ooze with these days (hence the reason why she pushed a complete stranger out of the way of an oncoming bus because she’s a female and therefore is /just /that /nice.) But of course, she isn’t simply that customary for no given reason. Her main purpose is to serve as more of a window into the hidden reality we see that is so different from our daily lives, since she lives the everyday life that most of us do either as well or similarly to a fair extent. She reflects more of the confusion and shock the average human being would feel upon having a million revelations thrown into her face via Yato, and I suppose if you really don’t care for her she could be more of a wish-fulfillment character into an alternate universe. Unlike other leading characters, she’s determined and knows when to take the initiative when the situation is tight. But alas, she starts out as the badass female lead and then ends up getting damseled like some million-dollar-prize in the last couple episodes, which I hate with the burning passion of a million suns. But moving on.
Last of the main three is Yukine, Yato’s sarcastic, stubborn fourteen-year-old Regalia who serves as his weapon for 98% of the show and also adds some more comic relief to (but mainly against) our poor underdog god. Out of those already mentioned above, he undeniably undergoes the most drastic character development in the entire show and /all of it/ is so, so, so satisfying. It surprises me how much hate he gets from the fandom, though not only is that a) more personal bias, b) not the time to bring this up in a review, and c) a time to complain about the fandom giving him crap, but I thought all of it was well justified, mainly because it is so simple to see what it is he wants, where he’s coming from, why he wants all these things that he can never have. Plus he actually acts similarly to how an actual fourteen-year-old boy with raging hormones and inner angst would. The show finally starts to get into a rhythm of a plot with his introduction, which is majorly important as well. The only complaint that I would have is that I felt that the episodes just took a /little/ too long having the buildup to his extremely Paramount conclusion, though it was so intensely satisfying in the end that I completely forgot about it. It added a sense of desperation to the entire thing, which, when I think about it, is not necessarily a bad factor now. But of course, since he is a part of this show, he is a brilliant and extremely adorable character to watch if you can understand him, which should not really be a problem at all.
The rest of the supporting cast is also great, each to their own with their own stories, pasts, and different sides, but are all also incredibly fun to watch as they give the show so much colour and variety. The only reason why I wouldn’t give the character aspect a full-on 10 is because of Yato’s rather-late-introduced arch-nemesis from thousands of years ago (who just happens to be a filler character because of the unfortunately short length of this series right now) and Hiyori’s demotion of “Prize to Be Won After We Win Because we Love Her”.
I definitely don’t have any complaints here. For the most part the animation style is typical Bones fare, with the art looking approvingly alike to that of the manga’s. Each character design is bright and interesting to the eye, from Yato’s cat-like blue eyes and strange scarf to the brighter colours of the giggly Kofuku and the other personified gods. Scenery is also well done and detailed, though I wish there were more fight scenes included because this is where the animation /really/ shines through. (Yato’s Rend attack in particular, and mainly since this little cut is re-used multiple times in each episode.) Naturally there are times when the quality would dip here and there, but it does its job and doesn’t fail to please. Solid 8 here.
The soundtrack for Noragami was composed by Taku Iwasaki, the genius who had previously created OSTS for the famous Black Butler and Soul Eater, both of which were known for their very prominent themes varying from rock ballads and pop to Victorian-era themes. Most of the music is light-hearted and a bit repetitive in its loops, but it sets the mood extremely well and never feels out of place. It occasionally mixes in a few classical Japanese themes into it too, and that never feels unnatural either. The battle music is the main point in this entire OST along with a few other tracks that will make you go, “Oh, this played when ______ happened and it sounded awesome!” because honestly it is just that great. No complaints.
As if it could possibly add onto the already existing 10, the voice acting of Noragami is simply SUPERB and there is no other way I can say it. The casting of the actual god Kamiya Hiroshi as Yato was an absolutely perfect choice that would be practically impossible to imitate by anyone else. I wasn’t used to hearing him play such a wide range in a single role, but I have faith in that man. I got used to it, and he was simply amazing. In fact, even if I didn’t have any interest in Noragami’s story I would still watch this anime just because this guy is present in the cast. I don’t even think I need to mention Yuki Kaji, but I will anyway just for the fact that he pulls of Yukine’s pre-teen angst and personality so intensely well that I almost burst out sobbing the second he spoke a single line. Both of them are really what pull off the characters and that goes for the rest of the cast too. Having seiyuu regulars such as Sawashiro Miyuki, Fukuyama Jun, and Daisuke Ono were all great choices as well, and again, no complaints at ALL. Don’t even talk to me about the OP and ED.
Enjoyment & Final Verdict: 9/10
Now, even though I’d like to call it as such, Noragami is not perfect, as is anything else out there. But though it has its problems, I was never once bored or dissatisfied with this show to a large extent. The only thing that would make this bump up to a ten would be the confirmation of more to come. Though the anime had its happy (if not rushed) ending, there is still so much manga content to be animated, including the /incredible/ arc focusing on Bishamon, Yato’s other arch-nemesis from centuries ago, but now’s not the time to mention that. Noragami is a great blend of comedy and the supernatural, a character-driven show that really gets you to feel and has a tone that tends to capture. Beneath it all are underlying tones of darkness and grief, but still manages to put on a lighthearted tone when it needs to. But all in all, I had a great time watching the ride and grew attached to it. This anime will most definitely have a little reserved corner in my heart as one of the greatest animes of the Winter 2014 season and I’m looking forward to the possibility of a future season. And with that, I leave you.
I, like most everyone on this planet, like things.
The things that I like come in many different shapes and sizes. One such thing that I like is the Winter 2014 show Noragami, a 'feels' shounen brought to you by Studio Bones, that brings together elements of shows like Soul Eater and Rurouni Kenshin to give you a 'family-centric' journey exploring what it means to be alive.
Or rather I wish it did. At its best you've got tear jerking moments of mortality, family, and the struggles of existence. You have a cast of characters you care about, the voice acting encapsulating each character almost perfectly,
flowing between emotions and the changing tone beautifully. At its worse you have long 'bouts of 'struggle of the week'. Slow buildup to something with mediocre story telling until the conclusion. And foreshadowing that is either so obvious it hurts, or massively fascinating and never really answered.
This show's strengths are in its characters, mainly Yato - who consistently brings out the best interactions of the entire show, be it his sweetness or his harshness - and are the primary reason that I want more and more of Noragami. Don't get me wrong, the rest of the cast are all better than average. Certainly better than what I expect from a battle shounen. And when the show is being a harsh drama I am utterly entranced, fulfilled and cathartic.
But. When it is not being amazing. It is mediocre beyond belief. Slow pacing, which ,whilst forwarding the overall plot, could easily have been something else more in line with the show at its best. This is further exemplified by the animation quality which just seems disappointing. The art style deserves better than what it got. The art style on its solid and certain 'Phantoms' (The primary antagonistic beings for most of the series) just ooze awesome. Others look about as cool as a blue frog can look. And whilst I couldn't call the animation terrible, for the most part it does nothing good, the creepiness is not exemplified, the sadness is not exemplified, the little details are simply absent. I'm never impressed and at my worse I'm disappointed by how often the shounen “Power up to kill shit” is copy and pasted. Sure it is cool the first couple of times, but with the amount it is reused it loses its power quickly.
The soundtrack takes some interesting steps. Using more electronic and dubsteppy tracks than your standard rocky shounen. I personally found it kind of bland, but I can easily see others enjoying it far more as the tracks are not out of place and certainly match the moods of the scenes. Being unique in this regard should be applauded, but whether it really works or not is something we can question heavily.
However the biggest and most substantial flaw of this show is where the overall plot goes. This is a 12 episode series that does not buckle down and focus. Most of what fascinated me in the earlier episodes was not really built upon. Instead I have a Kenshin-esque fight scene and a re-establishment of the strange 'friend-family-esque' trio, which was only broken up an episode earlier. I want more exploration of Yato and Yukine's character depth and backstory. I want my weird romance subplot between a kinda human and a deity. I want the three main plot lines to be resolved.
But I don't have that. Instead I'm left here waiting and hoping for a season two that takes everything amazing about this show and continues, without the flaws of the first season. Which in itself is an issue, because the ending track is completely and utterly gorgeous. Easily amongst one of the best EDs, based on track alone, that I have had the fortune to listen to in my lifetime. But a single music track alone is not something most people will watch a show for.
(This is a spoiler-free review adapted for this site)
[Synopsis]: Lacking both recognition and a shrine, Yato (Kamiya, Hiroshi) is a god down on his luck, forced to take on mundane requests in order to earn his meager offerings. On one of these menial tasks he is rescued from the path of a racing truck by Iki Hiyori (Uchida, Maaya) who subsequently is subjected to inconvenient out of body experiences when her soul leaves her body. After Hiyori requests for Yato to fix her condition they meet Yukine, (Kaji, Yuuki) a wandering spirit who becomes Yato’s divine weapon. The three fight ayakashi and do odd jobs
in order for Yato to one day become a recognizable god with both a shrine and followers.
Noragami has a fairly small cast which can be nice in terms of simplicity however it can also lead to the show feeling over-reliant on only a few characters. Yato, the penniless god who dreams of becoming a well-respected deity, is a fairly lighthearted and comedic character however is perfectly capable of becoming serious given the proper conditions. He’s not afraid to take on simple jobs in order to earn his 5-yen donations however I also felt that this trait was somewhat troublesome as the character has high aspirations but only progresses towards them at a snails pace.
Iki Hiyori is a generic enough school girl (outside of her interest in professional martial-arts). She isn't a very intricate or even interesting character however her place in the show is well situated enough as she acts as a sort of layman for the viewers so we can have an introduction to the implications and concepts of Noragami‘s world. She is a good source of comedy however I don’t think she holds much intrigue within the story.
Lastly we have Yato’s divine weapon: Yukine. He was a wandering spirit when Yato found him and by nature of this was once human which makes for a good deal of the shows drama as well as Yukine’s own internal anxiety. I found him to be rather irritating as a character – it is eluded to that he had a tragic or traumatic past as a human however his conflict with Yato and his lot in the show is not tied to this and therefore feels needlessly whiny and unpleasant. He is often at odds with Yato however there didn't appear to be any unique character qualities within Yukine that would give way for this and so his discomfort feels petty. He doesn't exhibit very good character development either and while he does become less unpleasant after a point, it is not even his own doing that leads to this near 180 of attitude. All in all, I felt he was rather annoying and I thought his poorly written character exploration took up much too much time.
The character designs in Noragami are fairly simple except when it comes to the more supernatural characters like other gods or the ayakashi – Yato himself is best visually characterized by wearing a jersey and sweat pants. The character designs tend to get a little relaxed or lazy if the scene is not of great import or when the characters are depicted as far away however they never become outright terrible.
The combat in the show could almost entirely be described as single-strike or clash based because many of the battles are between Yato wielding Yukine against an otherworldly monster. This isn't necessarily bad however if one was to look into the show for action reasons then these scenes leave a bit to be desired in terms of choreography, length, and overall complexity.
I think this is where Noragami falls short for most people – not because the story is poorly written or because the characters act stupid but because there doesn’t seem to be much there to begin with. The premise of the story – that Yato wishes to become a famously worshiped god and that Hiyori wants her body fixed – is not something that the story spends much time chasing after. Yes, Yato takes odd jobs in order to increase his recognition and earn his offerings however, as I stated in the [Characters] section, he seem to have much actual ambition and therefore hardly progresses towards his dream within the course of the 12 episodes.
The content that the show actually covers, concerning primarily Yukine’s emotional disposition and later Yato’s dark history, I didn't find as interesting as if the show pursued its original premise more actively. In all honesty, because the show is primarily lighthearted for a good deal of its episodes, I would say that the comedic interactions between the main cast of characters is ultimately of more interest than the plot the show shallowly explores.
The music was pretty good and some people may recognize a similar approach and style as to that of Katanagatari as the composer is Iwasaki Taku. I wouldn't say that the music is nearly as good as his other work in my personal opinion however I would say the soundtrack is one of the show’s better appeals. The music mostly occupies a BG-type quality whereas Iwasaki’s work normally takes more of a center stage role in my experience – the action scenes do play up the music accordingly so I generally enjoy these parts of the music more than others.
[Final Thoughts and Rating]:
While there is a second season now confirmed for Noragami, these 12 episodes felt forgettable to me. The characters weren't very interesting and there were so few of them that the cast of the show felt pretty lackluster.
I gave the show a 5 because its well enough animated and has decent music but the show spent its 12 episode run quite poorly in the progression department and had a few actively annoying elements such as Yukine’s dialogue and characterization.
Because the show offers very little in overall content – I have a hard time recommending the show to anyone for genre purposes however someone that’s looking for a supernatural anime would not go amiss as the ayakashi and gods are fairly present throughout the show. The action in Noragami i felt was pretty lackluster save maybe the final confrontation in the show however I don’t think it was a worthy payoff and wouldn't recommend it for this reason. I would say that the show’s strongest point is its comedy and so anyone looking for a good few comedic reaction faces and decent gags would do fine in watching the show however there is a fair amount of drama as well so its not a pure comedy by any means.
This is one of the few anime I got to watch with my brother all the way until the end, which is quite the rare feat. It isn't all that surprising, however. If you read the summary or watched the show already, you know its plot and characters show potential, or that it at least is serviceable/enjoyable.
... Serviceable it was indeed, but it's nothing more than that quality-wise. The plot is basically about this chick named Hiyori saving a guy from a car accident but in the process, becoming half-dead (her soul can leave her body and all that jazz). That guy turns out to
be a minor god named Yato who wants to have his own shrine with many followers one day by doing all sorts of services in exchange for five yen each. Wanting him to turn her back to normal, Hiyori sticks to him because she has to remind the guy that he needs to solve her problem practically every time she sees him.
Well, when you get down to it, this conflict stops having any actual importance a few (2 or 3, I think) episodes later, so uh, no wonder Yato basically shrugs it off. Anyway, gods apparently need these spirit things called Regalias to cut down phantoms and basically be their personal servants, which is where the third protagonist Yukine (can also be Yuki or Sekki because these Regalias apparently have three different names for some reason) comes in to become Yato's Regalia. The story follows these three characters, and the conflicts they go through together... or... something like... that... Pfft.
Yeah, right. You're at first made to think the focus is gonna be on Hiyori and Yato, and trying to get her back to normal, but that's a ruse. Instead, Hiyori turns into thin air and acts on nothing despite her initial actions making you think she'd be a decent girl protagonist and Yukine's problems become the focus of the show for way too many episodes, especially when you consider the fact that it all could have been solved if Yato and Yukine just bothered talking to each other about said problems. However, how could there be the magnificent/pointless thing called misunderstandings if they just talked to each other like normal people? I mean, Yato's not technically a person anyway, am I right?
I wasn't asking for the story to be about taking down phantoms, the recurring monsters that influence people on bad levels that only the people on the Far Shore (aka the afterlife) can see, and figuring out how to get Hiyori back to normal: in hindsight, focusing on creatures with no character or depth whatsoever would make for a dull episodic format, which I wouldn't want. However, I also wasn't asking for it to go in this strange direction, all the way until episode 9 at that! The problem with this, if you put aside the bit of stupidity present, is really just the fact that it takes up the majority of the show, and not that it's focusing on a character, or that character in particular: focusing on him is great and all, but I also wanted focus on other characters throughout the anime, like, I dunno, Hiyori (too much to ask out of the show).
Anyway, after that, you're introduced to the final arc (I guess: if you consider the beginning to be one arc, and the Yukine part another, then this would be the last arc in the anime), where there's a fairly dramatic conflict caused by a villain that challenges the friendship formed between the three protagonists. Sounds good, right? Even better, you see that no matter what methods are used, this dramatic conflict doesn't get solved so easily, and instead, the villain has to be confronted in this great climax of a final fight and episode. Hyped, aren't you (if you aren't, just roll with it!)?
... Let me tell you why this didn't work:
- There's this character cooperating with the villain who has clear ties to Yato's background and seems really important overall, and yet you get to know nothing about her. At all. Even though you can basically attribute the good dramatic part of this arc to her, you don't see anything about her!
- The villain himself is mediocre. Serviceable, even, like the whole show. Even though he was somewhat hyped with stuff like the opening and whatnot, he's really as generic as you can get. Needless to say I was disappointed, as you'd expect someone more... important or grand from the villain that shows up at the end. You could replace him with a different guy with an equally generic backstory and nothing would really change;
- The fight's not very interesting. It's basically sword fighting, with no noteworthy moves and, well, it's emotional and, uh, um, power-ups, I guess (the pinacle of fine writing). Seriously, the people behind this anime even bothered to put a PANTY SHOT in the midst of the final episode (possibly the most pointless panty shot in the world, by the way, and panty shots are practically pointless to begin with), and it's not like Noragami is littered with fanservice or anything like that! It can make up for not being anything special by the stakes being high (making things more emotional and getting you to care about what's happening), which they were... somewhat. If you care about the characters, that is. Besides, you can't really care about the action when...
- The resolution of the conflict and climax is just stupid. As in, devoid of intelligence, yes. I can even give you examples: Yato is very, very early on established to being able to teleport. He teleports a fair amount of times in the show. He tends to scare Hiyori with this from appearing so suddenly! Teleporting is a total thing with Yato. And yet, Yato doesn't teleport at the very end, when it's needed most, to save a really important x that's on the verge of falling (avoiding spoilers as much as possible), basically dooming what he was trying to save in the first place. Why? Because consistency, man: this show has it in spades, I guess. The stupidity doesn't end here, however: I'm just gonna tell you straight up that every method used to try to solve this conflict, which were legitimate attempts, apparently pales in comparison to the CLEARLY much more meaningful solution of "I can smell dudes!". Not even joking (beyond the sarcasm). And that's when the situation's seemingly hopeless in every aspect! Like, are you freaking kidding me?!
In general, when it comes to the plot of Noragami, my brother even goes as far as to say that "It's like the show was passed around ten different people" (basically, that it's all over the place) and you can kind of see what he's talking about. It's first about gods and phantoms and Hiyori's problems (somewhat), but then it starts being all about Yukine, and afterwards it shifts its focus 100% to Yato and gods and the final stuff with their friendship. If you think about it, phantoms are basically irrelevant to the final arc, Yukine's stuff is irrelevant to the first arc, and Hiyori herself becomes irrelevant for a good chunk of the show. They just have no connections whatsoever with each other, so it really feels like certain details get suddenly forgotten along the way for no reason whatsoever.
Even though I could sort of sense (with shipping goggles) Yato/Hiyori shipping coming with the show, my brother and I legit got misled into thinking Hiyori/Yukine was gonna be a thing midway to the point where my brother got confused when this turned out not to be the case at all. Despite these direction problems, you do end up being behind the developments of Noragami: it's that serviceable. Part of that's because of the equally serviceable cast of characters.
Yato is a likable, cheerful guy, and a lot of humor comes from him. He wants to be well-known, and us, the viewers, want to see that happening too. He's also mysterious in the sense that there's a lot of backstory to him that we don't know, and that he's not devoid of a serious side. However, we don't get to know anything truly relevant about Yato's past in this anime beyond the fact that he has many female acquaintances and that he killed stuff or whatever (totally unexpected of a god of war, huh?). Not only that, but his serious side wasn't what you'd call meaningful: it just seemed like it was there for the sake of being there, as in, "Ooooh no, I'm serious, you can't get close to me!". You know, that sort of thing that easily gets brushed off.
Yukine's also not that bad of a character. You can't expect him to be rainbows and sunshine when he's a spirit who's died at a young age, after all. It's just that he was the victim of that middle arc, which I can imagine got many people annoyed with him. Sure, he's not that likable when he basically acts all mean towards Yato and whatnot, but it's not like he's insufferable, and he does fit in with the cast alright.
Hiyori's another problem entirely. She's shown to be fairly spirited (badum-tss), with an interest in wrestling and overall a personality you can get behind. This goes as far as to have her copy a move from her favorite wrestler to take down a phantom at the very first episode! Sadly, you don't see any of this afterwards. Instead, she just happens to be 'there' for the rest of the show. You can understand why this is the case: she has no ties with the stuff happening; only Yato and Yukine do. Even so, that doesn't excuse the striking flaw of making a pointless protagonist: when you have a protagonist, they have to have some sort of tie with the events of the story, some role, or at least participate in something.
However, Hiyori doesn't do anything special until final episodes, though you could argue she actually doesn't do much there either seeing as it's still Yato saving the day and she's basically a damsel in distress. While I also can't call her a wasted potential because she's not amazing or anything of the sort, she was definitely poorly-handled. I'd literally get surprised whenever Hiyori had some semblance of focus in the middle of the show, like, "Oh, wait, she isn't being thin air now?". It was pitiful.
The supporting characters are alright, I guess. They weren't explored all that much, like a lot of the actually interesting stuff going on in the show related to Yato. After all... everything is tied to Yato. Might as well call the show 'Yatogami', am I right? Overall, the character cast is nothing special as far as I could tell from watching the show. Like the story, it's likable, enjoyable and serviceable.
The same applies to the art and sound. The art looks pretty good, and some of the designs for the phantoms were somewhat creepy, along with the voices they'd have. The character designs are also good, and the animation's not bad at all. The opening's pretty cool to listen to, but I personally didn't really like the rest of the soundtrack. The techno-ish, japanese style-ish sounds with some dude singing out vowels just did not appeal to me (with this, I'm referring to the more prominent tracks). Even so, I can't say it didn't fit the anime. When it comes to voice acting, Hiroshi Kamiya did a good job as always, Yuki Kaji was chosen for an unfortunate role as always and Hiyori’s voice was somehow growing to annoy my brother. In other words, it was good, I guess.
Despite the criticism I throw at it, my brother and I were enjoying Noragami a fair amount: though I knew it'd be worthy of a 5 (which doesn't count as a negative score to me) from the get-go, I didn't have a terrible time watching it. Even my brother, who doesn't watch anime all that much and drops anything if the tiniest thing doesn't appeal to him, wanted to see it through to the end, which is definitely saying something about how enjoyable it is to watch, and not in that 'so bad it's good' way. Instead, Noragami is the kind of show you enjoy in that 'turn your brain off and it's a masterpiece' way, and there's nothing wrong with that. After all, it is really serviceable.
... Seeing something yet? Like me hammering the fact that Noragami's serviceable? Because that's really the point of the review. To point out that Noragami's an alright show. That it's enjoyable, likable, 'meh'. There's nothing really deep you get out of it, and you don't have to either. It doesn't convey anything truly meaningful or absolutely breathtaking, but that's fine: you can pass time with this anime. The story's enjoyable, the characters are likable, the production values are pretty nice, and it's overall a serviceable, 'meh' show. There's nothing in it that makes me feel anything more. But that's not what I can call a flaw.
So, well, I suppose I'd recommend this to basically anyone as a way to kill time. It can appeal to a lot of people, after all. I mean, it's even got a second season now... which I'll never watch. Though I've originally written the review before such an announcement was even made, I decided to re-write it since its writing quality wasn't good enough, in my opinion, to get my points across. Let's hope it's actually better now. Either way, I can imagine that Noragami won't fail to deliver the same quality with its second season, so if you really liked this show, you might as well give that a try.
Serviceable it was indeed, but serviceable never hurt anyone.
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